Jean-Guerly Petion: Americana Dreaming
Americana Dreaming, an exhibition of new work by Jean Guerly Pétion at Gallery 532 Thomas Jaeckel, presents 16 new works by the Haitian-born artist. Americana Dreaming presents a disorderly, non-thematic body of work executed with stunning visual flair and stamped with a highly distinctive graphical sensibility. Fiercely, even overtly polemical, these artworks foreground the emotional life of the Black artist while simultaneously alluding to a broad range of literary and theoretical influences, ranging from classical myth to post-structuralist philosophy. Using techniques from painting, mixed media, and assemblage, Pétion creates phantasmagorical vision-scapes in which colorful decorative elements, surrealist symbols, and potent images of Black identity come together in a dynamic visual carnival. Images of butterflies, flowers, soccer balls, and ferns create an oneiric vocabulary of signs and symbols; elsewhere, a series of densely layered abstractions, suggestive of TV static or electronic noise, showcase the artist’s abiding interest in repetition as a formal tactic.